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by Alex Brecher April 12, 2023
Coffee is one of the most popular and healthiest beverages in the world, but many people worry about its effects on heartburn. If you notice that coffee is a trigger for you, a low-acid brand, such as Alex’s Low-Acid Organic Coffee may be a good choice. But that is not the only consideration.
There are other possible triggers for heartburn besides the coffee itself. What you add to your coffee, especially coffee creamers, may be triggers for you. Here is what you should know about different types of coffee creamers and their impact on heartburn.
Cause of Heartburn
Heartburn is the result of acid from your stomach going up into the esophagus through the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES. Acid on the surface of the esophagus causes a burning sensation that may be all too familiar to you. It happens when the LES is relaxed even when it shouldn’t be. A variety of dietary factors, including possibly some creamers, can increase relaxation of the LES and raise your risk of experiencing acid reflux or heartburn.
Dairy-Based Creamers and Heartburn
Cream, milk, and some creamers are dairy-based. They can cause gastrointestinal discomfort especially if you have lactose intolerance. Signs of lactose intolerance include bloating, diarrhea, and an upset stomach after having dairy products. Sometimes, switching to a non-dairy alternative can help. Almond, coconut, soy, and oat-based milk and creamers are widely available.
Fat Content and Thickeners and Heartburn
The fat content is another important factor in whether a creamer might trigger acid reflux. Fat can be a trigger for heartburn; that’s why healthcare providers may suggest avoiding fatty and fried foods when you are trying to prevent episodes of acid reflux. Cream and high-fat creamers could be triggers for your heartburn after drinking coffee.
Lactose in dairy is not the only possible cause of heartburn from creamers. Creamers, whether made with dairy or dairy substitutes, often have other compounds or ingredients that can be potential triggers for heartburn. Thickeners, for example, can cause heartburn. And have you ever read a full list of ingredients when choosing a creamer? Who knows what types of effects they may have on your body?
Effects of Sugars and Other Sweeteners
There is more to consider when thinking about creamers. Many of them have sugar or other types of sweeteners in them. Sugar isn’t usually a direct trigger for heartburn, but some people believe that sugar substitutes, especially artificial sweeteners, can be triggers. Some creamers have multiple types of artificial sweeteners. You might try different types of sweeteners and keeping a diary of symptoms to narrow down which may be triggers for you.
A Word on Moderation
After discussing types of creamers and ingredients in them, it may be time to talk about something else: quantity. “How much” matters for heartburn, whether talking about how much coffee, how much creamer, how much fat, or how much sugar. Having too much at one time can lead to heartburn more easily.
In addition, “too much” over time can also be dangerous for heartburn. Heartburn and acid reflux are far more likely in people who are overweight or obese. Having too many high-calorie coffee beverages can contribute to weight gain. Coffee beverages with high amounts of creamers, sweeteners, and flavoring syrups can have hundreds of calories. Having one or more a day can be a significant cause of excess pounds.
What should you do if you have tried different kinds of creamers and sweeteners, and you are sure that you are not overindulging on your coffee or eating too much with it, but you are still noticing heartburn after drinking coffee? If you love coffee, avoiding it is not an option!
Coffee is a naturally acidic beverage. If your healthcare provider says you should opt for a diet low in acid, you can try a low-acid brand. Alex’s Low-Acid Organic Coffee has been third-party tested by an independent lab and shown to be lower in acid than the average of leading national brands. Since it is organic, produced without a list of hundreds of synthetic chemicals, and free from contaminants such as mold, mycotoxins, and heavy metals, you can also be sure that you won’t be ingesting these types of compounds that could lead to heartburn.
Other Factors in Coffee
There are other possible causes of heartburn that may be related to drinking coffee, but that aren’t caused by chlorogenic acid in coffee or by creamers that you use. These are some examples.
Caffeine:Caffeine is known to trigger acid reflux. It stimulates acid production in the stomach. It also relaxes the LES so that it is easier for acid to travel upwards towards the esophagus. If caffeine may be a trigger for you, consider trying Half Caff or Decaf versions of Alex’s Low-Acid Organic Coffee.
What You Eat with Your Coffee: Many foods that people commonly consume with coffee are prime candidates for triggering heartburn due to their fat content. Consider, for example, doughnuts, which are fried, breakfast pastries, which are often made with a buttery dough, and desserts, which can have cream, butter, or shortening. Limiting these foods may help prevent heartburn after drinking coffee.
When You Drink Your Coffee: Going to bed on a full stomach is a trigger for heartburn. If you tend to drink a large cup of coffee shortly before bedtime, you may be filling your stomach and increasing the chances of getting heartburn while in bed. It may be healthier to drink your coffee a little earlier in the day so your stomach has the opportunity to empty out a bit before you go to bed.
Heartburn is a dreadful sensation that you may want to avoid, but it can be tough to give up coffee if you love it and depend on it. Luckily, there are alternatives. For starters, low-acid coffee, such as Alex’s Low-Acid Organic Coffee, can keep your total acid consumption down. Plus, taking a look at any cream or creamers you may use can give you clues into how to drink coffee without symptoms. Ask your healthcare provider about any health concerns and for more information on smart choices to prevent acid reflux.
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